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The Isla Mujeres Ethnographic Field School (I.F.S.) is dedicated to the professionalization of ethnographic research and the training of students on how to conduct ethical, meaningful and professional research. Our mission is to train ethnographers that we are confident in and that we know can get the job done. Be it future graduate school research or projects for employers. Our trained ethnographers can tackle a research project from beginning to end with confidence, experience and know-how.


Students will participate in formal lectures, informal presentations, government meetings and briefings, and ethnographic research that serves to assist the people of Isla Mujeres either through applied anthropological techniques or through creating a more full ethnographic record that illuminates the island's past, present and possible future.


Students will be immersed within the culture of the island and will conduct collaborative research with it's residents. Students will learn the value of team work through helping each other on projects, talking through field research problems and supporting each other in their professional development.


Before students arrive to the Field School they will communicate often with faculty to develop their independent research ideas and proposals, as well as conduct literature reviews for their proposal. After they leave the Field School they will also be in close communication with select faculty to prepare their research papers for publication in academic journals and/or for professional conference presentations.


We train both undergraduate and graduate students. The Isla Mujeres Ethnographic Field School is an investment in a student's scholarly and professional future. Our program gives students the cutting edge needed to get into good graduate school programs, develop graduate school dissertation research (which will help in securing research funding for dissertations) and will help them land the job they want in the discipline.


Many undergraduates will use their experience and data for senior thesis projects, while many graduate students will use it for pilot research to develop their Masters thesis or Doctoral dissertaions.



Pre Field School:



  • Prepare students for research


  • Develop a solid research idea,


  • Conduct literature reviews 


  • Create a research proposal (based on Ph.D. Dissertation proposals).



During Field School:



  • Ethics in anthropology and ethnographic research training


  • Guided Research Language and cultural familiarization


  • PADI Open Water Certification


  • Finalization of Research Proposals


  • Ethnographic methods training and practical assignments


  • Conduct independent research projects


  • Team-based ethnographic approaches


  • Client-based research


  • Collaborative research (with local NGO and Government organizations


  • Data Analysis and Preparation


  • Present findings in a conference-style open-to-the-public forum on Isla Mujeres


  • Submit an academic journal-style article of findings to be developed for publication and for official submission to the local Government (Ayuntamiento) of Isla Mujeres for their records


  • Create and submit a Curriculum Vitae



Post Field School:



  • Develop and organize papers for conference professional anthropological conference presentations


  • Develop papers for academic journal publications


  • Staff assists with graduate school application processes and letters of referral, as well as networking with others in the field and job or grant opportunities.






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